De/Compositions: 101 Good Poems Gone Wrong

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Graywolf Press, Jun 1, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 312 pages
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This original, illuminating, and sometimes quite funny poetry anthology is primarily concerned with a fundamental and familiar question: How can we tell good poetry from bad? To illustrate precisely why these 101 poems, many of them well-loved classics, are so accomplished and remarkable, the prize-winning poet, author, critic, and veteran teacher Snodgrass herein rewrites them—wrongly. De/Compositions tellingly presents these rewrites next to the originals—by poets ranging from William Shakespeare to William Stafford—and thus we can more fully appreciate the artistry of these astonishing poems word by word, line by line, stanza by stanza. This book will appeal to anyone studying the craft and/or creativity that good poems demand.

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How can you tell if a poem is good? Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Snodgrass would put it next to a bad one and let the reader judge. To that end, he has taken 101 great poems and rewritten them wrong ... Read full review


Elizabeth Spires Globe
Walt Whitman A Noiseless Patient Spider

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About the author (2001)

W.D. Snodgrass won the Pulitzer Prize for his first book of poems, Heart's Needle (1959). The celebrated author of more than thirty books of poetry, prose, and translations, he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Delaware and lives in Erieville, New York.

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